“I have wandered away like a lost sheep; come and find me, for I have not forgotten your commands.” Psalm 119:176 NLT
Have you ever been lost? First you’re just annoyed or frustrated, but then, perhaps as it gets darker, you start to panic. There are all kinds of darkness. We can certainly find ourselves lost in physical darkness, but emotional, mental or spiritual darkness can be even more frightening.
I remember a time when I was overwhelmed by the thought I was going to fall into a pit so dark and deep I’d never come back. God gently whispered to me, “There is no place you can fall, no matter how dark, that I cannot find you.”
“I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the LORD, Who call you by your name, am the God of Israel” (Isaiah 45:3). Most of the time the Hebrew word for darkness means literal, physical darkness, death, misery, sorrow, etc. Here, however, it means to be hid in darkness, in underground cells. There are treasures hidden in the dark places we find ourselves, things we learn of the Lord that we can learn nowhere else. When it is darkest we learn whether or not He truly is the Light. When we can’t see, we learn whether or not He is omniscient (all-knowing, all-seeing).
Sometimes it’s the darkness of the enemy. Paul was in a very dark place—when he was known as as Saul, he had zealously persecuted Christians, but on the road to Damascus Jesus blinded him and, lost in the darkness of his physical world, he found the Light of his spiritual world. In Acts 26:17a Jesus tells Paul He’s sending him to the Gentiles “to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God…”
Have you ever been lost and were too proud to ask for directions? We can get lost spiritually that way, too.“Haughty eyes and a proud heart— the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin” (Prov 21:4). Somehow we find ourselves looking and going places we never intended to go, doing things we never intended to do, lost in spiritual darkness, ashamed to ask for His help back.
There’s always hope. The psalmist asks God to find him. It instantly brings to mind Luke 15:4-7 NLT. “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders” (Luke 15:4-5). Jesus finds us!
“Lord, thank You that when we’re lost, have fallen into darkness, or in our pride have strayed—You, our Good Shepherd, find us. Help us remember there’s no place too far, too deep or too dark. Amen.”